[NOTE: I originally sent this to Jim as an email, because I felt like it needed an outlet but, since I blog for business reasons, couldn’t really give it a home on my blogs. I was interested to see what How good is that? readers would have to say on the subject.
Jim, however, invited me to just post it as a guest blog. So that’s what I’ve done, with some minimal editing.
I’m looking forward to comments!]
Someone I met online – mostly because I couldn’t stop myself from commenting on dumb things he said, like “Religion is good because it’s the reason I don’t cheat on my wife with the cute 18-year-old I saw on the street today…” (I find these kinds of pro-religion arguments really, really distasteful) posted a link today.
Basically this is an article which supposedly analyzes a NASA study which supposedly proves that global warming is NOT caused by man, and is in fact a natural phenomenon.
He was really excited about this (he posted with a comment like “Finally, some reason! This proves that global warming doesn’t exist!”).
But then I noticed:
– Everyone who commented positively on his post (on Facebook) is a Christian
– Everyone who was like “Are you kidding? This study is a joke”(on Facebook) is an atheist
– There was a huge debate within the comments of the article itself which was actually much more informative than the article (I recommend reading the comments)
– The debate in the comments following the article sounded REMARKABLY like debates between atheists and Christians! The same “I read a study that proves…” and “So-and-so was totally discredited…” and ultimately the global warming deniers sound JUST LIKE Christians (“Oh, you liberals are always believing in science, when we all know that science is usually wrong…”)
So I have come to the conclusion that there is a direct correlation between Christianity and global warming denial – and I wonder why that is.
The problem is that I don’t know enough about global warming – and the nuances of who’s making money off of it and who’s not (the guy on Facebook asserted that Al Gore is just a big con artist because he’s making all kinds of money off emission taxes and whatnot, for example) – or the science behind it to discuss it intelligently. Intuitively, global warming makes sense to me, and the reading I have done (mostly about animal or reptile populations being affected) seem to make a compelling case, but having worked in marketing for 15+ years I’m more aware than most people that you can spin ‘data’ any bloody way you want.
So I asked the guy for some links to articles about it. He, of course, sent me links to (a) Christian, US media and (b) blogs by Christian Americans.
I said they were too biased; I’d like a link to a non-US publication with at least some pretense to objectivity, such as The Economist. He came back with a big rant about how The Economist was “totally biased”; I sighed, said I’d only suggested it (and that I’m perfectly well aware that all media is biased, consciously or sub-consciously, but mainstream publications such as The Economist at least try to hold themselves to a higher journalistic standard than Bob the Blogger) and repeated my comment that I’d be happy with any link to any mainstream publication from any country, so long as it was non-American and not just some random blog.
You can guess the outcome: No links to any articles. Because no one outside the Bible Belt is asserting that Al Gore is a crook who’s lying about global warming in order to line his own pockets
FOLLOW-UP: After I wrote this little email rant, I went back to Facebook and pointed out to my correspondent that, ultimately, he seemed to be trying to make a ‘rational’ case for something that in fact was a ‘belief’.
Surprisingly, he admitted it was true: that based on the information he’d assimilated, it was his ‘opinion’ that global warming wasn’t real.
Interestingly, this puts us RIGHT BACK to where we were in my comment about ‘faith’: Why do some people go out of their way to have ‘faith’ in ideas when EVERY BIT OF EVIDENCE is pointing in the other direction?
I’ve since given this a lot of thought, and I still don’t have a good answer for why Christian Republicans tend to be the ones denying global warming (they call it AGW – Anti-Global-Warming). Is it that Christian Republicans tend to be the ones who own all the oil (all the anti-evolution nutjobs on Twitter seem to be from Texas)? Is it that Christians – the ones who believe the Bible is literal truth – think that the entire globe, like animals, is here to be exploited as much as possible, since ‘God gave us dominion’ over it all? Is it that they want an excuse to hate Democrats, and Al Gore gives them a convenient excuse? Or is it simply that Christians have gotten in the habit of decrying all ‘science’ that ‘liberals’ seem to believe in, and this is just a knee-jerk reaction?
I don’t know. Maybe you do.